BOSTON, Mass. - Despite outshooting #13 Boston University, 41-27, a late short-handed BU goal foiled Northeastern's comeback attempt in the Huskies' home finale on Friday night at Matthews Arena.
Seniors Randy Guzior, Mike Hewkin, Wade MacLeod, Tyler McNeely and Steve Silva played their last game as a Husky at Matthews Arena on Friday night.
Rookie Cody Ferriero joined Silva as the goal scorers for Northeastern while sophomore netminder Chris Rawlings stopped 24 shots in the loss. Terrier's backstopper Kieran Millan made 39 saves to key BU's victory.
The penalty-infused affair resulted in a total of 72 minutes. Northeastern was whistled 12 times for 35 minutes while the Terriers took 13 calls for 37.
Northeastern governed the tempo offensively in the first few minutes, yielding a hooking call from Matt Nieto at 4:28. The Huskies skated with the extra man, but Joe Pereira broke up a play and turned it into a rush on Rawlings. Brodie Reid trailed Periera, and as a means of prevention, the rookie took him down from behind, resulting in a penalty shot at 5:13. Pereira made a move to Rawlings' left and was greeted by his leg pad to prevent NU’s power play from going awry.
BU took its turn on the power play after a holding call on MacLeod at 11:03. The Terriers had a tough time finding open lanes as Northeastern's unit allowed only one shot, and that attempt was blocked in front.
The Terriers sustained their first wave of pressure of the power play and finally broke through for the first tally of the contest at 16:51. Alex Chiasson accepted the puck from Nieto on the low post and tried a shot to Rawlings' right. The puck ricocheted out to Corey Trivino and the junior carried it around the net and beat Rawlings behind the back for the 1-0 lead.
The first period concluded with a two-man advantage for Northeastern starting at 17:55. Patrick MacGregor (hooking - 16:51) and Nieto (slashing - 17:55) took the calls and despite two strong chances for the Huskies, Boston University avoided a tie heading into the second stanza.
Although the Huskies didn't convert on the power play, Ferriero gathered a puck loosened by Steve Quailer and ripped a wrist shot past Millan to sew it up at 1:48 of the second. Quailer jostled the puck loose on BU's blue line and Ferriero crafted a toe drag around a Terrier and unleashed a vicious wrist shot to close the gap, 1-1.
The end of the second period closed out similarly to the first, only it was Boston University with the 5-on-3 advantage for 32 seconds at 17:45. Luke Eibler (hitting after the whistle – 16:16) and Drew Daniels (high sticking – 17:45) were issued off to create the window for BU. The Terriers managed to get one puck through with the two extra skaters, but Rawlings made the chest save. Northeastern continued its kill and closed down BU's power play heading into the third period.
Northeastern had a chance to take the upper hand to open the third after another early penalty for the Terriers. Charlie Coyle took an elbowing infraction just 32 seconds into the third, but the Huskies were not able to convert with the extra man.
At 6:51, offsetting penalties alongside a five-minute major to Randy Guzior ignited a parade to the penalty box. The action was chippy for a minute stretch and BU's five-minute advantage was quickly negated by a Adam Clendening's hitting from behind major at 7:26. Neither team found the back of the net amidst the slew of penalties.
Jamie Oleksiak was cited for holding at 12:44 and the Terriers reclaimed the lead 14 seconds later on a slap shot from Max Nicastro at 12:58. Trivino won the draw out to Nieto and Nieto redirected the puck back up to Nicastro just within the blue line. Nicastro smashed the puck through the zone and scored the power play goal to recoup a 2-1 advantage.
The last two exchanges of the game occurred while each team was short-handed. McNeely's holding call at 13:58 left the Huskies short-changed, but a faceoff deep in NU's zone yielded a Silva goal at 15:05. MacLeod won the faceoff and snapped the puck up to Silva in the neutral zone. The puck made its way back to the left dot in BU territory as MacLeod tried an off-angle shot from the near post. Millan made the initial stop but Silva crashed the net and delivered the short-handed tally to tie it back up, 2-2.
On the same possession, Ryan Ruikka took a slashing penalty to tilt the momentum to Northeastern's side even more, but the Terriers responded with a short-handed marker of their own to claim the victory.
Boston University induced a turnover and rushed towards Rawlings in transition. Nieto capped off his playmaker with a backhanded pass off the right wing out to Sahir Gill on the near post. Gill redirected the dish at 16:45 to regain the lead for the third time on the evening, 3-2.
Northeastern was given one last chance to force overtime when Nieto was whistled for hooking at 18:56. The Huskies net was vacant as NU had two extra skaters with a minute left. The Huskies were inches away from scoring off a scrum in front of a sprawled-out Millan, but as the puck was heading towards the goal line, Ruikka kicked the puck away with his skate to spurn Northeastern's attempt at a comeback.
Northeastern closes out the regular season at Agganis University tomorrow night. Puck drop against the Terriers is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Game Notes - The last time an opponent took a penalty shot was on Feb. 16, 2008. Cory Quirk of Massachusetts took the free attempt, but did not convert.
- Cody Ferriero has scored a goal in his last two games and now has three on the season. The tally also stands as the freshman's first-career point streak.
- Wade MacLeod has recorded three points in his last three outings. The Coquitlam, B.C. native has tallied 57 goals and 73 assists in 143 games ranks 23rd in NU history in scoring.